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Hackathon judge Lisa Weeks tests Team Red Line’s motorcycle VR game, winner of the community choice award at the Fall 2016 Seattle VR Hackathon. (Photo by Shawn Whiting of Pluto VR)

Spring is in the air, the weather in Seattle is finally improving and techies across the Northwest are gearing up for the spring Seattle Virtual Reality Hackathon.

The hackathon is a weekend of creativity, coding and virtual fun that takes place in the spring and fall of each year. The 2017 spring event will happen from April 21 to 23.

Like your average hackathon, participants organize into teams and develop a project based in VR or AR technology to compete for prizes. But while competition can motivate some awesome creativity, the event is really about creating community and helping VR novices and experts alike hone their skills.

And it isn’t just for coders — graphic artists, sound engineers, game designers and just about anyone else can find a way to pitch in.  The hackathon has been growing steadily since it was started by Seattle-based VR enthusiasts in 2015, and its 2016 fall hackathon drew 180 participants and over 500 spectators.

It also tends to sell out quickly, so make sure to get tickets in advance if you want to participate. For those who are curious about the teams’ work, there’s also a free expo where spectators can talk to the teams and demo their projects on April 23 at 3 p.m. Check out all the event details and the schedule here.

That’s one of the highlights from our GeekWire community calendar, the spot for geek and tech events in the greater Pacific Northwest. See the full calendar here, submit your event here and keep reading for more suggested events over the next few weeks.

Hackathon – Parks and People United Through Technology

What: This hackathon has a mission: find new, fun ways for people to connect with their local and national parks. That could mean interactive apps, calendars, crowdsourcing efforts — you name it! Folks from Esri, UW Tacoma, CloudPWR, New Tech NW, GeoEngineer and the National Recreation and Park Association will be there to work with volunteers on building new solutions for the outdoor world.

When: April 14, 1 p.m.April 15, 2 p.m.

Where: STAR Center, Tacoma, Wash.

Register: Register for free and find out more here.

F8 Meetup Seattle

What: This event is for everyone who wants to keep up with F8, Facebook’s annual developers conference, but doesn’t want to make the trip down to San Jose, Calif., to be there in person. Watch the F8 keynote and see Facebook’s new product announcements from the comfort of the Emerald City, and meet some other Seattle techies while you’re at it.

When: April 18, 9:30 a.m.5 p.m.

Where: Galvanize

Register: Register for free and learn more here.

Anime Movie Festival

What: This movie festival is an anime geek’s dream come true. It features classics from Japanese directors like Hayao Miyazaki (“Spirited Away”) and Satoshi Kon (“Paprika”) as well as a host of more under-the-radar pieces. A great excuse to rewatch a favorite on the big screen or introduce yourself (and the whole family) to the genre.

When: April 25May 3

Where: Cinerama

Register: Individual showtime tickets available for $16. Get those and the full lineup here.

Amazon biosphers

Science in the City: Designing the Amazon Spheres

What: Few things seem more sci-fi in Seattle than the Amazon Spheres, three giant dome-shaped greenhouses being built on the company’s Denny Triangle campus. Hear one of the Spheres’ designers talk about the theory behind the unique structures and how they were designed to fit into the neighborhood.

When: April 25, 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Where: Pacific Science Center

Register: Tickets and more information available here.

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